Dundee & Angus Pupils Offered a Virtual Escape from the Classroom

Pupils in all secondary schools across Dundee and Angus are being given the opportunity to experience what life is like in a variety of businesses across the area without leaving their classroom. DYW Dundee & Angus has funded a virtual reality headset for each school, and commissioned media production company Airborne Lens to produce a series of six ‘360 degree’ virtual tours. This will enable the young people to see around business premises from industry sectors including engineering, agriculture and culture.

Alison Henderson, CEO of Dundee & Angus Chamber of Commerce, and interim Chair of DYW Dundee & Angus said, “Even before the pandemic turned our lives upside down, it was difficult for schools to take groups of young people on site visits. The varying pressures on teaching staff, costs of transport, and timetable constraints made visits of this type complicated and expensive. Then of course we went into lockdown and any visits that did take place had to stop. Site visits are an important part of career education, giving young people the chance to be in the workplace and see what the working conditions are like. We were keen to come up with an innovative solution to fill this gap, and so the idea for virtual tours was developed. We are delighted with the result, and hope that the area’s young people are too.” Dale Harris of Dundee engineering firm ATL Turbine Services added, “We were only too happy to help with this project and contribute to it with a virtual tour of our premises. We are always keen to help inspire young people. They are the work force of the future and an important element of our talent pipeline. This is a great way to show them what goes on here, without having to travel and be here in person.” The contributing businesses are ATL Turbine Services, Angus Soft Fruit, Forth Ports, Angus Alive, The Circle, and Dundee & Angus College. The hope is that if the headsets prove popular, more films can be added in the coming months. “Our pupils are loving this new way of getting to know local businesses”, said Anna McFarlane, the DYW Co-ordinator at St Paul’s RC Academy. “The last academic session was very difficult for schools, but career education remains high on our agenda, and the VR headsets have added a fun new element to this.”